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25 February 2024

Abu Dhabi surgeons successfully treat an infant with a rare condition

Pic: Supplied

By Staff

Surgeons at Burjeel Hospital Abu Dhabi, one of the country’s leading private healthcare facilities, recently performed a complicated surgery to save the life of a newborn, with a complex gastrointestinal condition. Prof. Dr. Amin El-Gohary, Consultant - Pediatric Surgery, at Burjeel Hospital, and his team managed the complicated case of the infant.

The newborn was diagnosed after birth with a rare condition called oesophageal atresia. In this congenital condition, the upper part of a child’s esophagus, the tube through which food passes from the mouth to the stomach, does not connect to the lower part and stomach. It ends in a pouch, causing food to not reach the stomach.

This defect was compounded with another congenital condition termed as trachea-oesophageal fistula (which is a connection between the lower part of the oesophagus and the windpipe).  This defect could have caused air to pass from the infant’s windpipe to the oesophagus and stomach, and stomach acid to pass into the lungs. These defects mean the baby could not swallow safely, with the chances of her choking as well. The newborn also had an imperforated anus (a malformed rectum), with recto-vaginal fistula (an abnormal connection between the rectum and the vagina). “These multiple conditions, if not treated immediately, could have caused the child long term problems and even threaten her life,” said Dr. El-Gohary. “The surgery to repair these defects was carried out a few hours after her birth.”

The medical team used a special heated table for the infant and conducted a two-hour surgery with the help of Dr. Shahid Rashid, Specialist - Pediatric Surgery and Dr. Mohsen Mostafa, Consultant – Pediatric Anesthesia.

The child responded very well to the surgery and was discharged seven days later.  She had also resumed normal feeds and was in a good general condition.

“The imperforated anus was operated on a month later, as the child was having difficulty in passing stools through the narrow link between the rectum and vagina. The traditional approach in such a case is to perform the procedure in three stages. The first involved performing a diverting colostomy, followed by a pull-through procedure to separate the rectum from the vagina and thirdly, a close colostomy,” explained Prof. Dr. El-Gohary. “We rolled all three procedures into one surgery and corrected the defects in the genital and anal anatomy.  

 “We are happy to announce that the surgery was a success, and this could not have been achieved without the outstanding support of the medical team at Burjeel Hospital – from Pediatric Surgery and Anesthesia units. Other teams such as the ICU unit and nursing personnel also provided invaluable support to make this difficult operation successful,” said Dr. El-Gohary.

The infant’s parents expressed their deep gratitude to the management of Burjeel Hospital and Dr. El-Gohary and his team for their efforts, which they said is considered a miracle. “We will forever be grateful to Burjeel for giving our baby a second chance at life,” said Mrs. LCEM, 31-year-old mother of the baby, from Republic of Cameroon in Central Africa.

“Our first and foremost priority was the well-being of the newborn. We are very proud that such a complex surgery was undertaken successfully; saving a little child’s life as ensuring a healthier future for her was an important commitment.  Every day, we drive ourselves to deliver the best possible healthcare to the community.  We look beyond medical excellence and aim at providing compassionate, personalized care to every Guest,” remarked Dr. El-Gohary.